Monday, May 21, 2012
Redbud Tree – Accent Tree for Landscape
The deciduous leaves of the redbud tree are reddish purple in the spring and then turn dark green in summer followed by yellow in the fall. The striking leaves and showy spring flowers that bloom in April to May make the this tree a accent for your landscape.
I do not grow the red redbud tree in my yard, however I have planted a few for my clients and I view the redbuds growing wild in the woods by my home. I find it best to grow the tree in morning sun and part shade in the afternoon. Grow these trees in zones 4 to 9.
The eastern redbud is renowned for its upright growing habits as well as the dark trunk, and spreading branches and lovely spring flowers. The growth rate is slow. I planted a two foot tree for one of my clients 10 years ago. The tree at 10 years old was 6 feet in height with a similar spread.
Where to Plant Redbud Tree
Before you plant a tree determine the growing site. Consider planting the redbud tree in front of a picture window or close to your home entrance. Choose a planting site which allow the tree to accent your landscape.
Buy a tree that has some height. If you can buy a four foot tree then do so as it will produce flowers the following season. Purchase a redbud trees in a natural burlap root ball covering or container.
How to transplant a tree
Transplant the redbud in early spring as soon as the soil is workable. Gently remove the tree from the nursery container. The best way to loosen the tree in the container is to set the container on its side and roll it gently back and forth. This will loosen the soil on the sides of the container and will enable you to pull the tree out. If the tree is wrapped in burlap; ask if burlap is 100% natural. A natural burlap wrapping can be planted with the tree, however a wax coated burlap casing must be removed as the roots cannot grow through the wax. If the burlap is natural casings then cut the burlap away from the tree trunk and fold the burlap back.
Transplant the redbud tree into a hole that is twice the size of the container. Remove the dirt from the hole and put in a wheelbarrow. Break up the clumps of dirt so that it is a fine texture. Mix compost with the dirt and then add enough dirt to the hole to form a small mound in the center. Set the root ball in the center of the dirt mound and back fill the soil to 10 inches. Add an organic root simulator. Dilute solution according to the instruction on the package. Back fill the remaining dirt.
Firm the dirt around the tree trunk and press on the dirt to remove air pockets. Water the tree well.
Care for Tree
Care for your newly transplanted redbud tree by applying 3 inches of mulch around the trunk or wrap the trunk with a mulch ring. Also tape the trunk to protect it from insects and husbands with weed whackers, trimmers or lawn mowers. Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet throughout the growing season; spring until a hard frost.
Fertilize the redbud tree every other spring. Continue to keep the soil evenly moist for two years after transplant. Deep watering once a week will encourage a deep root.
Consider pruning the tree in late winter to keep a formal shape.
Eastern Redbud is formally known as “Cercis Canadensis” and is a large shrub or small tree that is native to eastern North America to Southern Ontario Canada.
The nectar rich flowers attract honey bees and carpenter bees. Some redbud trees bear fruit in late summer. The fruit looks like a flat brown pea sized pod. Harvest seeds from the pod or leave the pod on the tree for birds to forage. The eastern redbud tree is a good choice for a backyard bird habitat.